Before you depart on a quest, remember to always eat a meal. Depending on which ingredients you select, you will receive permanent buffs to your character (until you faint from an attack), as well as unlock special abilities that will aid you during the hunt. For example, by selecting meat with vegetables, you'll receive a small health and attack boost, but if you select fish with vegetables, you'll get a large stamina boost. With numerous ingredients to choose from, the combinations are limitless!
Depending on the quest, certain meal combos will be better than others. If you're embarking on a gathering quest, you'll probably want to go for a meal that gives you extra stamina or anything else in relation. But if it's a hunting quest, it's better to go for a meal that gives you an attack and defense buff.
A new addition to the game is the ability to eat at the start of the quest, at the campsite. If you forgot to eat back at the town, you won't have to worry since you can do just that at the start! You can also change your weapons and gear at the campsite too, something you couldn't do in previous titles.